Cervelle de Canut

Before you all leave this page in total disgust at the prospect of being made to eat a silk weavers cerebral cortex, let me tell you that ‘cervelle de canut’, is a nonthreatening cheese and herb spread named for the famed silk workers of Lyon in the mid-18oo’s;

My new neighbors are coming for an ‘apero’ this evening and so I thought I would russel up this tribute to the talented ‘canut’ of Lyon who diligently packed this cheesy spread on their way to  the silk factories. Others tell me its name was a cruel joke amongst the bourgeois Lyonnaise, who assumed the cheesy dip shared a consistency with the gray matter of their silk-working class.

Whichever story is to be believed, this creamy dip is delicious and a happy change from the usual suspects we are often left to dip our crudités in. Served with some salt crisps, soldiers of granary bread or perhaps a bundle of plump radishes it is a totally French treat and a perfect way to start an evening.



  1. Drain the fromage blanc and place it, along with the white wine vinegar, crème fraiche, and walnut oil into a deep mixing bowl or blender.
  2. Process the cheese until it is smooth and completely blended into a medium consistency.
  3. Add the shallots, chives, chervil, tarragon, salt and pepper to the mixture and blend or stir until all the ingredients are incorporated into the cheese.
  4. Refrigerate the cheese for 2 to 3 hours before serving and serve garnished with a pinch of fresh chives and a drizzle of walnut oil.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 14th, 2013 at 5:41 pm and is filed under Burgundy, Hungry Cyclist, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. Both comments and pings are currently closed.